Watch: Chimp's emotional reunion with baby following C-section warms hearts
Zoo officials announced the baby's name as Kucheza, which means "play" in Swahili. Thursday's news came hours after posting a tear-jerker video of the newborn welcomed back into his loving mother's arms following a two-day medical observation.
WICHITA, Kan. – If you are lost in the eyes of baby Kucheza, a viral video of his reunion with his mother after a brief separation following birth will surely warm your heart.
Chimpanzee Mahale gave birth to her baby boy at 12:48 p.m. Tuesday via C-section at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas.
On Thursday, zoo officials announced the baby's name, which means "play" in Swahili. The announcement came hours after posting a tear-jerker video of the newborn welcomed back into his loving mother's arms following a two-day medical observation.
The zoo's animal care team noticed changes in Mahale's progress water laboring all morning and decided to intervene surgically.
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Drs. Laura Whisler and Janna Chibry of College Hill OB-GYN were on hand to perform the cesarean section with the zoo’s veterinary team. The pair have consulted with Sedgwick County Zoo veterinarians on all great ape pregnancies for the past decade.
Kucheza received treatment and bottle feedings overnight due to low oxygen levels.
This was the third offspring of the 28-year-old chimp and an important birth for the species' population. Chimpanzees are listed as endangered, and wild populations are decreasing due to habitat loss and poaching for bushmeat.
We are happy to report that Mahale and Kucheza are recovering very well behind the scenes, where they will remain until it’s clear that they are both healthy and bonded.